Isaac Brownell, MD, PhD
Year elected: 2019
Current membership category: Active
Dermatology Branch, NIAMS, NIH
10 Center Drive, 12N240C
Bethesda, MD 20892-1908
United States of America
Phone: 301-480-7191

Biographical statement

Dr. Brownell is a dermatologist-scientist and is Head of the Cutaneous Development and Carcinogenesis Section in the Dermatology Branch at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He obtained degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics prior to undergoing MD/PhD training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Brownell completed a dermatology residency at the New York University School of Medicine, and a postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Alexandra Joyner at the Sloan-Kettering Institute. As clinical faculty at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, he specialized in the management of patients with high-risk skin cancers. In 2011, Dr. Brownell became an investigator in the Dermatology Branch at the NIH. Dr. Brownell directs a research program investigating the development and maintenance of stem cells in normal skin and the oncogenesis of skin cancer. His current research focuses on the regulation of sensory Merkel cells in the skin and the molecular pathogenesis of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancer. Translational efforts in the laboratory have identified novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for Merkel cell carcinoma, and clinical investigations contributed to the first FDA approval of a drug for Merkel cell carcinoma. Dr. Brownell is also an attending physician on the NIH clinical center’s Dermatology Consultation Service and he co-directs the Cutaneous Oncology Program at the Murtha Cancer Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Institutional affiliations

NIH, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (Primary)